[en-tang-guh l-muh nt]
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Origin of entanglement

First recorded in 1630–40; entangle + -ment
Related formsin·ter·en·tan·gle·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for entanglement


  1. something that entangles or is itself entangled
  2. a sexual relationship regarded as unfortunate, damaging, or compromising
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for entanglement

1640s, from entangle + -ment. Foreign entanglements does not appear as such in Washington's Farewell Address, though he nonetheless warns against them. The phrase is found in William Coxe's 1798 memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper